Ponting chooses rest over county cricket
Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has effectively ruled out a stint in English county cricket this season in favour of rest.
Ponting had been linked with a move to England for their summer to help keep him sharp during a near six-month break between the last Test in the West Indies and the start of the Australian season next summer.
But despite being linked with his former county Somerset, Ponting said he had not entertained the idea.
And he believes rest after a long and at times difficult summer of cricket is perhaps his best option.
"I haven't entertained the idea at all of playing county cricket this year," Ponting said on Friday.
"I've got to look at what my best preparation is, post the West Indies, and that will probably be to have a couple of months off.
"It's been a hard 12 months for me personally and around my cricket.
"With things not going as smoothly as I wanted at the start of the year, I had to train harder and work harder on my game and think more about my game than ever before.
"It's taken its toll a little bit, so I need to have a chance to refresh and recharge my batteries and get a solid pre-season under my belt before the Australian summer."
The former Australian captain's Ponting Foundation, which aids families with children suffering cancer, has agreed to a three-year deal with AFL club North Melbourne to help its fundraising efforts.
All money raised from the club's round-one clash with Essendon will be donated to the charity, with jerseys and footy gear worn in the match to be auctioned after the game.
"It's great for our football club to give a little bit back to Ricky - he's our No.1 ticketholder and been a passionate supporter and a member for a long time now," North Melbourne midfielder Brent Harvey said.